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What is the Difference between Various VPN Protocols?

Jan. 23, 2017, 4:30 a.m.

VPN connections provide encryption by the use of tunneling protocols. In this article we provide a detailed description of the widely used protocols by VPN service providers and a comparison between these protocols in terms of security, speed and compatibility with popular operating systems.  


PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol) is a very simple, lightweight VPN protocol based on PPP offering basic online security with medium speeds. PPTP was created by Microsoft in association with other technology companies hence, it was the first VPN protocol supported on the Microsoft Windows platform and it is the most widely used VPN method among Windows users.

All Microsoft Windows versions and most other operating systems (such as: Mac, Linux) in addition to mobile platforms such as (IOS and Android OS) have built in support for PPTP. PPTP only requires a username, password and server address hence it is very easy to setup.

The disadvantage of PPTP is that it features 128-bit encryption; it doesn't actually describe encryption or authentication features and it relies on the PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) protocol being tunneled to implement security measures.

PPTP is not as reliable and stable as other VPN protocols.


L2TP is an advanced VPN protocol. It is more complicated than OpenVPN however; it is the recommended replacement for PPTP especially if you're running IOS or Android. In practice L2TP/IPSec has shown itself to be as reliable and stable as OpenVPN on mobile devices.

It could be more difficult to configure as it requires extra credential; (secret). L2TP/IPsec features 256-bit encryption, but the extra security overhead requires more CPU usage than PPTP. That is why it is considered to be extremely secure. 

All Windows starting 2000/XP and up, Mac versions OSX 10.3+ h support L2TP/IPSec. Most modern mobile platforms such and IOS and Android support it too.

Conclusion is that L2TP/IPsec is a great choice if OpenVPN is not available for your device.


OpenVPN is an advanced open source VPN solution developed by the company OpenVPN Technologies. It is regarded as the premier VPN protocol.

It is the most recommended protocol to use on desktops and it is extremely fast and stable even on non-reliable networks, behind wireless routers, and on Wi-Fi hotspots.

OpenVPN features 256-bit encryption and it is very easy to setup just as any other software, takes no more than minutes to install and run.

Conclusion is that OpenVPN is the best choice; extremely fast and reliable. The only flaw is some VPN services do not provide OpenVPN applications for mobile devices and tablets.


Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol or SSTP is a tunneling protocol that uses SSL VPN, which is accessible via HTTPS and it uses 2048 bit protection. That is why it is considered the most secured method.

It doesn’t need any software installed because it uses the web browser as the client application.

SSTP is available for Linux, RouterOS and SEIL; however it is still largely a Windows only platform. It supports windows versions starting Windows Vista SP1. And that is regarded as one disadvantage because it doesn't support other widely used operating systems.

Another disadvantage is slow connection.  

OpenVPN over SSH

WASEL Pro VPN service is the leader between VPN providers to use this technology.

A secure shell (SSH) protocol consists of an encrypted tunnel created through a SSH protocol connection. An SSH tunnel can be used to transfer unencrypted traffic over a network through an encrypted channel. Just like OpenVPN protocol, SSH tunnels also provide a means to bypass firewalls that prohibits or filter certain Internet services.

In some countries, ISPs use sophisticated technologies to monitor and filter traffic. These technologies are DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) to block OpenVPN – L2TP/IPSec and connections, in order not to allow any user has a secure connection, use certain VOIP services or open certain websites, blogs and social networks.

So what WASEL Pro is introducing to its users is a totally secured OpenVPN connection that cannot be detected, and therefore, disrupted by ISPs in those countries and it combines between OpenVPN and SSH tunnel in one simple step.

It gives you the same features as OpenVpn but with no disconnection.

The conclusion is that most VPN users are advised to use OpenVPN on their desktop computers and L2TP/IPsec on their mobile devices.